The Well (novel)

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The Well
Author Elizabeth Jolley
Country Australia, England
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Viking Press, Australia
Publication date
Media type Paperback
Pages 176
ISBN 0-670-81103-3
OCLC 14407342
823 19
LC Class PR9619.3.J68 W45 1986
Preceded by Foxybaby
Followed by The Sugar Mother

The Well is a Miles Franklin Award-winning novel by Australian-English author Elizabeth Jolley. It tells the story of two women, Hester and her young ward Katherine, and their relationship with one another. Hester, who has lived alone on a farm with her father for many years, is possessive of the much younger Katherine. The relationship between the two women becomes strained after an incident where Katherine hits a mysterious creature with the roo bar on their four-wheel drive. It is left unclear whether the creature is an animal or an intruder who has stolen a large sum of money from the house. When Katherine begins to hear voices from the well and becomes racked with guilt, Hester goes to extreme measures to maintain her influence over her young ward.

In 1997 a film of the same name was adapted from this novel. The film was directed by Samantha Lang, from a screenplay by Laura Jones and featured Pamela Rabe and Miranda Otto.[1]



  • "Sweet Gypsy Mama" weblog [1]
  • "Trevor's Writing" weblog [2]

See also[edit]

  • "Sexual Gothic: Marian Engel's Bear and Elizabeth Jolley's The Well" [3]


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
The Doubleman
Miles Franklin Award recipient
Succeeded by
Dancing on Coral